Plantation Shutters vs. Shades: Which Is Better?
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Plantation Shutters vs. Shades: Which Is Better?

If you're looking for window treatments that are both stylish and versatile, plantation shutters may be the right choice. Shutters can be customized to match your home's color scheme and decor, as well as provide protection from UV rays and noise pollution. Plantation shutters are also energy efficient, which will help reduce your monthly utility bills.

On the other hand, if you want a more classic look, shades could be better for you. Shades can be personalized in hundreds of colors, patterns and textures. And they give off a friendly, welcoming glow in certain lighting conditions. With so many options available now it's difficult to decide on just one window treatment!

Through the years, Louver Shop of South Georgia has aided many homeowners with selecting and customizing window treatments. With your vision and our expertise, we're certain to find a solution together. We'll begin with a free, in-home consultation where you can see samples up close, from the convenience of your living room. Then your local design consultant will be with you each step of the way, from your free quote to professional installation.

For now, let's compare plantation shutters vs. shades so you can learn more about the unique features of these window treatments.

What Are Plantation Shutters?

Plantation shutters are also called hard window treatments, because they're made from either wood or faux wood. They're usually white but are also available in a variety of stains.

Plantation shutters have wide louvers that are controlled by a tilt bar, enabling you to customize the amount of light in your rooms. Unlike other window treatments, shutters are permanently mounted to the window frame.

What's the Difference Between Blinds and Plantation Shutters?

The terms plantation blinds and plantation shutters are often used interchangeably when referring to window coverings. But window blinds and plantation shutters have some big differences. Let's review them so you can choose the ideal style for your home.

Budget and Personal Style

Both are a beautiful window treatment. But what fits best in your home depends on your personal preference, interior design, existing décor and budget. Our custom-made plantation shutters are a high-quality product made to last a lifetime, while blinds can accommodate a broader range of budgets. Horizontal blinds also come in a few other materials, including wood, faux wood and aluminum.

Louver Size

Both have vertical slats. But plantation shutters have much wider and thicker louvers than horizontal blinds. These widths range from 2 1/2" to 4 1/2" and can be customized based on the style you choose.

Pull Cord vs. Tilt Bar

Blinds are usually controlled by a pull cord, while plantation shutters have a tilt bar that allows you to let in different levels of natural light. This makes window shutters a safer option for homes with small children or pets, since they don't use dangling, long cords that can be a safety hazard.

Window Size and Shape

Plantation shutters are best for a broad variety of window sizes and shapes, from large windows to specialty shapes. Real wood shutters are recommended for the largest windows, because they're much lighter.

Light Control and Room Darkening

Plantation shutters provide the greatest light control. Unlike blinds, they can provide a full room-darkening effect. They're able to supply superior light blockage and your desired level of natural light because they're installed within the window frame.

While horizontal blinds offer some relief from the high temps, window shutters provide the best energy efficiency. This is true whether you choose a real wood or faux wood design. They help keep you more comfortable by blocking energy loss at the window, where your home loses the most air. This may even help reduce your energy bill!

What Are Shades?

Shades are soft window treatments made from fabric, vinyl or woven wood. Our designer shades from Hunter Douglas are available in various colors and styles, like sheer shades, honeycomb shades, Roman shades and roller and solar shades. Certain shades are on a continuous roll while others stack into neat pleats when raised.

Roller shades have the widest selection of fabric to choose from, including sheer fabric allowing more light coming through but less privacy. Roman shades deliver a more elegant look, while honeycomb and roller and solar shades provide the greatest energy efficiency.

Which Window Treatments Are Right for My Home?

This answer depends on a couple of things, including your budget and home décor style. Here are a couple of points to take into account that will help you narrow the selection process.

Most Customizable

Winner: Tie

With Louver Shop of South Georgia, your plantation shutters will be just like you envision them. You’ll have your choice of wood or faux wood, plus louver dimensions, color and more.

Just like our premium shutters, our Hunter Douglas shades are made just for your home. When you work with Louver Shop of South Georgia you’ll have access to all the most current fabrics, colors and patterns you need to elevate your home. You can view samples of our innovative shades from the comfort of your sofa during your free, in-home consultation.

Smart Home Automation

Winner: Shades

Whether your shades are on big windows, hard-to-reach windows or you just don’t like the look of long cords, PowerView® makes it even simpler to move your shades. You’ll be able to adjust your window treatments with a tap of your smartphone or with a voice command via Amazon Alexa, Siri® on your Apple device or Google Assistant.


Winner: Plantation Shutters

You’re restricted with how much you can regulate your shades. With plantation shutters, you’ll be able to customize how much natural light comes through, from completely open to full blackout.

Energy Efficiency

Winner: Plantation Shutters

Plantation shutters are one of the best energy-efficient window treatments. Our LouverWood® shutters are made from an exclusive polymer that insulates up to three times better than wood. This material blocks heat, keeps you more comfortable and may even help lower your energy bills.

A near second for energy efficiency is honeycomb shades. These shades have geometric pockets that capture air at the windows. The result is reduced heat transfer, improved comfort and potentially lower heating and cooling bills.

Most Contemporary


You might not think of plantation shutters as a modern window treatment, since they’ve been around for many years. Offered in contemporary neutrals like white, gray and brown, plantation shutters complement a wide range of home styles.

Designer Roller Shades or Designer Screen Shades are a great choice for minimalist homes. The Designer Roller comes in more than 400 fabrics, so you’re sure to find an option that suits your décor. Designer Screen is perfect for rooms with intense sunlight, as these shades block at least 75% of damaging UV rays when closed.

Light Filtering

Winner: Shades

Want to change harsh sunlight into a warm, pleasant glow? Look no further than sheer shades. You can personalize the opacity of the fabric then enjoy the full adjustability of blinds, which hover between the shades. Sheer shades are available in horizontal and vertical styles so you can create a united look across your home.

Blackout Capabilities

: Winner: Tie

Plantation shutters are prized for their blackout capabilities. Ours are able to deliver excellent light control because they’re customized for your windows and installed inside the frame.

Some Hunter Douglas shades are available with an integrated, room-darkening panel. That way, you can enjoy light filtering or blackout capability when you want it.

UV Defense

Winner: Shades

With Designer Screen Shades, you’ll be able to enjoy your surroundings while safeguarding your furniture, floorings and belongings from harmful sunlight. When down, these solar roller shades keep out 75% of UV light.

Start Creating Your Custom Window Treatments Today

Customizing window treatments for your home shouldn’t feel stressful. It should be an enjoyable and even exciting experience. You’ll have many styles and fabrics to look at, but you’ll have expert support from your local Louver Shop of South Georgia design consultant. We’ll be there to help, from your free, no-pressure quote to professional installation. Ready to get started? Give us a ring at 888-428-1415 to schedule your consultation today.

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